Nutritional Ketosis, or Keto for short, is the state in which the body has shifted from burning glucose as it’s primary fuel-source, to burning fat instead. This is achieved by eating a Nutritional Ketosis Diet. There are a couple of popular variations of this. Remember the Atkins Diet? You guessed it, that was based upon achieving a state of Nutritional Ketosis, although it does differ from the Keto diet in a couple of ways which we won’t get into just yet. Nutritional Ketosis is primarily viewed as a weight loss tool, but research is starting to show that the benefits of a Ketogenic Diet expand well beyond just losing that extra weight. From treating a wide range of health conditions, heightened energy levels, and correcting our ever-increasing dependence on sugar and much more.
Why Should I Make the Switch?
You’re going to want to consult with a doctor before making a dietary change of this magnitude. It can be quite a shock to the system at first. That being said, there’s an overwhelming amount of data that has been brought to the surface in the last 5-10 years that indicates a Ketogenic Diet would benefit most people. After all, we’re chasing the same thing as you. We want to live a healthy life, and we’ve looked at the currently available information and have decided that Keto is the way to go. The improvements it has made on our lives are immense and that is the reason we’re trying to spread the word through our website and YouTube videos. We want you to feel as good as we do!
[color-box]”When the food manufacturers started removing the fat from food, the taste went with the fat. The solution: Add sugar and lots of it. This worked well economically, as the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup made cheap sugar plentiful.”[/color-box]
Correcting Four Decades of the Wrong Dietary Advice
-Ritterman, Jeffrey MD
An average American gets 60% of their calories from carbohydrates (How has that been working out?..Overweight and Obesity Statistics). The stark increase in obesity happens to correlate perfectly with the introduction of The Food Guide Pyramid in the early 90’s. We know better than that now though right? Well, a lot of us do(the government is slow to embrace change and still warns against consuming more than 30% of calories from fat) and that number seems to be increasing every day as the word about keto, and other carb-limiting diets rapidly spreads. For good reason too, the results are hard to ignore!
The Nutritional Ketosis Diet
In order to achieve a state of Ketosis a certain type of diet must be followed. The most important aspect of the diet is the extremely low amount of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates will need to account for just 5%-10% of a persons daily caloric intake for ketosis to be achieved. That might seem hard on the outset, and the food industry doesn’t make it any easier. You’re in luck though! We’ve got a whole host of Keto Recipes here that will make your path to ketosis extra tasty.
So 5%-10% carbs you say? What does that look like?… is that like..a slice of bread? Well, it could be a slice of bread, but we’re shooting for satiety and health, so lets pass on the bread(although we’ll show you how to bake up some delicious keto-friendly breads) for now. Those 5%-10% should be coming almost exclusively from leafy greens, vegetables, and trace carbs. Trace carbs are carbohydrates that are consumed as a byproduct of eating fat/protein rich foods like cheese, bacon, smoked meats, low carb protein bars etc. These foods will have very small amounts of carbohydrates that will accumulate over the course of a day and count for a couple percentage points of your daily total. The chart above will show you how your calories should be divided up in a typical day.
How Do I Eat All That Fat?
This is actually the hardest part at first. Getting 60%-75% of calories from fat is completely foreign to most people brought up in the “Low Fat 80’s and 90’s”. So do I just chomp down sticks of butter all day then? Well, not exactly, but some keto-ers do exactly that! (maybe not “sticks”, but a tablespoon or 2 from time to time) You’re going to want to stock up on healthy oils and fats such as Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and Grass-Fed Butter and use them liberally in your cooking. Also, instead of going for the 99% Lean Ground Turkey, or the Chicken Breast, start looking for fattier cuts of meat. Most keto-ers find great joy in coming up with low carb variations on their favorite recipes. If you haven’t looked yet, there is a low carb version of everything hiding somewhere on the internet, and most of them taste great!
Proven Benefits of Nutritional Ketosis
Keto Helps Control Your Appetite
When your body starts burning fat as fuel, you won’t need to fill up as often. You’re switching over to a slow and steady fuel source. Your energy levels will no longer be tied to how long it’s been since you had your last carb-laden meal. Instead, you can expect to have consistent, high energy throughout the day when your body is in a state of ketosis. The increase in dietary fat will cause you to feel fuller after meals, and your body will start naturally craving the amount of food it actually needs.
Of Course, Weight Loss!
The weight really does fall off on Keto. It’s pretty incredible. When you take out the spikes in blood sugar and insulin through dietary carbs, there is nothing telling your body to store fat. Most people will lose a lot of weight in the first week. Not all of this will be body fat however, a portion will be water. When you convert to Keto, the body will not hold on to glycogen(since it is now using ketones as it’s energy source. More on Ketones in a future post!). Each gram of glycogen is bound to a few grams of water. So when the glycogen gets kicked out of the club, it takes a lot of water with it, resulting in a quick initial drop in poundage.
Reduced Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
This ties into the last point. Sugar is what spikes insulin, and we won’t be getting any of that now. Nutritional Ketosis is a well-known treatment for type 2 diabetes.
Beneficial to A Number of Brain Disorders
We’re not doctors, but we love to see the amazing results people are having on a Nutritional Ketosis diet! More and more studies are being run everyday. Here is some excerpts from studies to date:
“There is no longer any doubt that the KD is effective in ameliorating seizures in patients, especially children, with medically refractory epilepsy (Vining, 1999; Neal et al., 2008; Freeman et al., 2009). After its introduction in 1920, the KD was used as a first or second-line treatment for severe childhood epilepsy.”
[color-box]”There is growing realization that neuronal excitability is enhanced in patients with Alzheimer disease”[/color-box]
[color-box]”How could the KD benefit patients with PD? Based on the recognition that ketone bodies may bypass defects in mitochondrial complex I activity that have been implicated in PD, a small clinical study demonstrated that 5 of 7 affected patients showed improved scores on a standard PD rating scale.”
[color-box]”Cells that exhibit the most active metabolic rates (i.e., cancer cells) are most sensitive to the lack of metabolic energy to fuel their activity, a well-recognized biochemical phenomenon known as the Warburg effect. Theoretically, depriving rapidly dividing, highly metabolic cancer cells of their usual fuel supply, e.g., glucose (by use of the KD or 2DG), could be clinically therapeutic (Aft et al., 2002; Pelicano et al., 2006; Otto et al., 2008). Despite this well documented cellular observation, the KD has only recently been considered as a clinical treatment in the oncology field.”[/color-box]
The Ketogenic Diet as a Treatment Paradigm for Diverse Neurological Disorders
-Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA
Many More Benefits Which are Still Being Studied
Some other benefits that may be attributed to a Nutritional Ketosis Diet are:
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- Mitochondrial Disorders
- Brain Trauma
- Psychiatric Disorders
- Migraine Headaches
Conclusion and Additional Resources
Nutritional Ketosis is an efficient and functionally optimized state for the body. Steady, slow burning fat(ketones) is the primary fuel source, as opposed to fast burning carbs(glycogen). This state can be achieved through carb-restriction, and a Keto diet advocates for a very high percentage of daily calories to come from healthy fats. While many benefits are still being studied, there are a long list of proven benefits of Nutritional Ketosis.
Leave a comment below if this helped you better understand Nutritional Ketosis, or if you have any questions. Be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel for great Keto content! I look forward to hearing from you. Lets progress on this journey together!
The video below is a great place to start for more info, as are these links:
Reddit.com/r/Keto – An amazing community of people determined to better their lives through a Keto diet, and help others do the same.
A Guide To The Keto Diet – Here’s a great resource to get you started. Ruled.me has everything you could ever want to know about Keto.